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By Maulana Aslam Sheikhupuri

Today, the author of these lines is once again mystified, unable to decide whether we are fortunate or unfortunate. We are fortunate for we saw in the form of Hazrat Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Ludhyanvi (rahimahullah) the wisdom of Hazrat Nanutwi, the jurisprudence of Hazrat Gangohi, the courage of Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hind, the vision of Hazrat Thanvi, the intelligence of Hazrat Kashmir!, the steadfastness of .Hazrat Madani, the resolve of Hazrat Amratsari, and the piety of Hazrat Phulpuri. We saw a saint of Allah whose heart was filled with the majesty of no one but Allah. He was neither afraid of aristocrats, nor impressed by shahs. He neither complimented the wealthy, nor did he seek any favor from them. He had no desire for acclaim, and no blame or criticism could impact on his steadfastness. He had full trust in Allah, and his friendships and enmities, meetings and partings were all for His sake. Most often, he would recite these couplets in an enthusiastic manner.

Be the whole world angry with me, I care not

The pleasure of my beloved is all that I seek

This is my criterion to decide

What to do, and what not

We saw an alim (scholar) whose sole interest was knowledge. From mosque to madrasah, during travel and sojourn, his every moment was dedicated for knowledge and practice. He had no interest in matters of politics and no concern with the hullabaloo of rallies and processions. His majalis were cleansed of backbiting, blathering and finger-pointing. He spent sixty-two years of his lives in the service of ifta (Islamic jurisprudence). Over fifty thousand fatwas were penned by him. He prepared a large company of j five hundred muftis (Islamic jurisprudents).

We saw a mujahid who had an old body but a young heart. His heart was filled with hatred for kufr and love of Islam. He longed to see Muslims dominant. It was his heart desire that every Muslim became a mujahid, and the spirit of jihad aroused in the whole Islamic world. He was a patron and admirer of mujahideen. Due to the blessing of his dua's (supplications) and his Trust, a lot of people living in non-Muslims countries got opportunities to help | the mujahideen and refugees.

We saw such a generous man that millions of people I were beneficiaries of his generosity. Through the Trust he founded, billions of rupees were spent on the needy. Thousands of disabled, wounded and widows were provided financial aid. Every day, 0.3 million poor and starving people would get baked bread - which is a record in history.

We saw a pious soul whose alchemic looks changed I of tl the fate of thousands of people. Those who were disobedient to Allah became obedient; those who blasphemed Sunnah, adorned their faces with beard; those who criticized Hijab (veil) began hating immodesty; those who were mad in the love of worldly wealth, found the wealth of contentment; those who were indulged in casting bad eye, ornamented their eyes with modesty and chastity; those who harbored grudge against ulama, started taking honour in serving ulama.

O yes, we are fortunate for we saw the shining face of Mufti-i-Azam, for we got the honour to attend his majalis, for we found a few years of his lifetime. But we are unfortunate for we did not take so much benefit from him as we could. The river of reform was flowing but we remained thirsty. The shining sun brightened the plains and mountains but we kept

our eyes closed. There are even some malicious ones who in a bid to spit on the sun, made their own faces dirty.

A relentless propaganda was carried out that Mufti Sahib was extremist, ill-humored and harsh-minded. Impressed by these rumours, I kept away from Hazrat for a long time. And if I ever happened to visit him, I would try to sit behind others in a bid to escape any scolding. By and by, the dust of propaganda settled as I saw the beautiful face of reality.

I was astonished at the maliciousness and narrow-mindedness of people who name adherence to principle as extremism; call truthfulness as causing dissension; regard abstinence from gibberish talk as ill-humouredness, and term indignation over breaking Shariah commands as harsh-mindedness.

In fact, a practice has become common that recitation of some wazifahs and observance of some apparent rituals is considered enough for one's training and reformation. That is the reason that by performing Haj and Umra, reciting wazifahs and going for a "chilla", these people get under a misconception that they and "only they" have become religious and true Muslims, and all others are fooling away their lives. These are the people who waste no time in declaring a "part" as the "whole"; ignorance as knowledge, and baloney as miracle. No concern for correctness of dealings, no teachings on moral etiquettes, no respect for ulama and mujahideen.

Gurus of these people are also like them. Ostensibly humble but in fact proud; apparently content but in fact immersed in love of worldly wealth; seemingly at the height of piety but in fact besmeared with the filth of greed. These gurus are always worried lest any disciple should get annoyed, or their circle of

disciples should shrink. That is why, they depend on sweet-talk, fascinating sermons and ecstatic speeches. Amulets are distributed, invitations are accepted and presents are received. Contrarily, Hazrat Mufti Rasheed Sahib (rahimahullah) used to strictly forbid sins, particularly the flood of those sins which has made its way even into the homes of ulama. It seems that the common people as well as the notables have excluded the grave sins from the list of sins. Their families have indulged in these sins. They give an excuse that "if the people are admonished to renounce these sins, a discord would be created, they would get disheartened and break away from us." But Hazrat was of the view that people's annoyance could be tolerated but violation of Deen was intolerable. If someone wished to break away relations with him, he would not be persuaded. Rather, the door was opened for him to go out. Hazrat had announced to give a reward to that person who would succeed in breaking any of his disciples from him. For him, quality was more important than quantity. He would admonish to fear Allah rather than people. No hypocrisy, no business of amulets, no persuasion for presents, no observance of rituals, and no zeal to keep pace with the world.

A part of Deen was not preached as the whole of Deen. He would practice Deen fully and enjoin others to do so. Renouncing sins, performing prayers, making honest dealings, reforming the inner self, waging jihad, teaching and preaching are all parts of Deen. Therefore, Hazrat Mufti Sahib would lay great emphasis on all of these acts. He would particularly stress on renunciation of sins, correctness of dealings, which seem to have been excluded from the list of social etiquettes. Generally, people think that Islam is without command with regard to social etiquettes. Those who violate people's rights, unjustly occupy their lands, torture them mentally and physically, still think themselves to be perfectly religious. There is a fallacy that this violation of rights by them would be compensated by giving funds to mosques and madaris and by performing Haj and Umra.

Hazrat would come down strictly with such traders, Hajis, sufis, maulvis and tablighies who were involved in the violation of rights. So, the "tender-hearted" would call him harsh and extreme.

About social etiquettes, Hazrat had a principle that non-intention of hurting someone is not sufficient, rather an intention of non-hurting is essential. To explain further, this is not enough that you do not hurt someone intentionally. Rather, you should be conscious and careful that even an unintentional action or word of yours might not hurt someone. For example, you are driving a car and hit someone unintentionally, inflicting a loss of life or property. You cannot be absolved by just saying that you did not intentionally hurt. Because of your negligence and lack of care, you would be held answerable in this world as well as in the hereafter. Now, you can apply this example to every word and action in your whole life. Hazrat Mufti Rasheed Sahib's biography "Anwar-ur-Rasheed" describes that Hazrat used to take a lot of care in order to save others from inconvenience. Sometimes, he would put himself into inconvenience so that others may not face any inconvenience.

In Hazrat's majalis, a strong invitation was given towards jihad. Definitely, jihad is a part of our Deen and an order from Allah. The Quran and Hadiths are full of warnings against giving up jihad. Hazrat would not only I give invitation towards jihad, but also he participated in jihad practically, and his financial support to the Islamic Emirate is recognized by both foes and friends. It was quite surprising that despite he rejected the traditional methods of fund-raising, the Muslims of the whole world, by the grace of Allah, turned their hearts to him and expressed full faith in his honesty, sincerity and trustfulness. Those who did not know the real meanings of sincerity and reliance on Allah would call even this a handwork of CIA.

After his demise, the muftis, who learnt from him the . principles of jurisprudence, find themselves orphan. The disciples, whom he showed the way to purification of mind, are also considering themselves orphan. The mujahideen, who considered him their commander; the widows, the destitute, the disabled and the refugees, who got financial support from him, are today feeling the grief of their being orphan. All of them are looking for him but in vain.